The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus on Tuesday celebrated victories for a half-dozen candidates it endorsed in the primary elections.
The wins came in races across the state and included a pair of challengers who knocked off incumbents that had made anti-LGBTQ remarks.
In the HD 14 Democratic primary, Angie Nixon ousted Rep. Kim Daniels, who deviated from her Democratic colleagues on several issues — notably, she sponsored the House bill requiring minors get a parent to sign off before they can get an abortion — in addition to expressing anti-LGBTQ beliefs.
In HD 88, Lake Worth Beach Commissioner Omari Hardy dispatched Rep. Al Jacquet, who sparked outrage for his repeated use of homophobic slurs — one was directed at Hardy. The fallout from that incident resulted in him stepping down from his spot on the House Rules Committee.
Other caucus-backed victors included Rep. Shevrin Jones, who is all but assured a spot in the Senate Tuesday night after securing the Democratic nomination in the race for Senate District 35, where he faced five opponents including three former lawmakers. In November, his only competitor is write-in candidate Darien Hill.
In House District 70, the LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus backed Michele Rayner in the four-way primary to replace exiting Rep. Wengay Newton. Since no Republicans, NPAs or write-ins qualified for the ballot, her win on Tuesday earned her the seat outright.
The caucus also celebrated two victors in local elections: Jacquelyn McMiller, who is heading to a runoff for Fort Myers Mayor, and Daniella Levine Cava who will go head-to-head with Esteban “Steve” Bovo in a runoff for Miami-Dade Mayor.
“It’s been an incredible primary night for Florida’s LGBTQ community. Michele Rayner will be the first Black lesbian in the Florida House. Shevrin Jones is another step closer to becoming the first openly LGBTQ state Senator. Equality champions Angie Nixon and Omari Hardy defeated notoriously anti-LGBTQ incumbents. Jacquelyn McMiller and Daniella Levine Cava moved on in competitive local races,” LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus president Stephen Gaskill said in a news release.
“Our community is making history and electing champions who will represent everyone in their communities, including their LGBTQ constituents.”